Star Wars: Episode VII has begun principal photography, and although that hasn’t completely stopped the flow of rumors – be they concerning additional casting for Episode VII or what comes next movie-wise, in the Star Wars franchise after director J.J. Abrams’ film – it means that we’re now getting more concrete information about the production. That continues today with a new video, showing Abrams on the Abu Dhabi set for the project, where he announces a new Star Wars charity effort – one that could win one lucky fan a walk-on role in Episode VII, no less.
Abrams has infamously been tight-fisted, when it comes to maintaining secrecy around his projects – perhaps too much so, as he eventually admitted with regard to his last film, Star Trek Into Darkness. While security is extremely high around the Abu Dhabi set for Episode VII (where scenes set on the desert planet Tatooine are being filmed), the mere fact that Abrams has revealed some portion of the Star Wars shoot – including an early look at what, presumably, is a new non-humanoid resident who shall be glimpsed on Tatooine – ahead of time, is something of a miracle.
As Abrams explains in the above video, this unexpected appearance is to promote a new charity contest, which will land one lucky fan the chance to actually make an appearance in Episode VII – as a background player/extra, that is. Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have issued an official press release, which provides some additional details on the opportunity. We’ve included just those relevant portions below, for your reading convenience.
Today in a special video message from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII, director J.J. Abrams announced the creation of Star Wars: Force for Change, a brand new Star Wars initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. The first Star Wars: Force for Change campaign will raise funds and awareness for the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Innovation Labs and its innovative programs that are benefitting the world’s most vulnerable children.
To support the launch of Star Wars: Force for Change, Disney has committed US $1 million, and fans can now contribute directly at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII. For each $10 contribution made through the Omaze fundraising platform, eligible participants will be automatically entered for a chance to win this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The campaign runs from 12:01am PST on May 21stth until 11:59pm PST July 18th.
The Star Wars: Force for Change Grand Prize includes: airfare and accommodations to London for one winner and a guest; behind-the-scenes access on the closed set of Star Wars: Episode VII as VIP guests of J.J. Abrams; winner will have the opportunity to meet members of the cast; winner and their guest will then be transformed by makeup and costume teams into a Star Wars character and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode VII.
As mentioned in both the press release and above video, you should head over to Omaze.com/StarWars if you want to enter the contest to be filmed in a scene in Episode VII. There are 58 days left in the contest, as of the time of writing this, so best that you head over there now – if you’re interested in possibly making the trip to a galaxy far, far away, that is.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.